I have already written about how the world has changed and how our little ones today are growing up amongst a jungle of monsters. Not only me, the entire parenting community that expresses its views online, or maybe even while sitting down for a chat about the changing times of parenting, one of the most common and angst-filled topics is bringing up kids in times that are completely changed from when we were kids.
So what are we supposed to be doing as parents? Well, I don’t need to tell you that it’s not physically or logically possible to be with your kids 24*7, and that, for their own sake and for them to grow up independent and confident, it’s important we give them a free hand and let them handle life on their own at some points.
So even as I, as a very paranoid and caring mother, give her all the freedom and independence that a 5-year-old can be given, there are definitely things I am teaching her, things that will help her in those times while mamma or papa aren’t around, and when she has to look after herself on her own. More than dictates, I’m looking at making them part of her regular behaviour pattern, and for most of it, I have succeeded. So as a parent, I’ll just share some of these tips with other parents out there, hoping it helps you too as much as it’s helping me.
Of course, please drop in your comments to tell me too about more pointers that will help me and other parents keep our babies safe and let them grow independent at the same time. After all, as parents, we can never exchange enough notes, can we?
I must tell you that some of the things we do as parents may sound over-the-top to some/many of you, but then again, we believe that it’s better to be a little too cautious than be sorry.
- One thing that I have ingrained in my daughter’s behaviour is never to talk to strangers
- As helpers and other attendants that she regularly sees at home or in the building society don’t always register as ‘strangers’ to her, I make sure she knows she isn’t allowed to talk alone to them, in the absence of parents – these people mainly include the building watchman, the car cleaner, carpenter, plumber, electrician and some others
- I don’t send her out with the maid, and in those times that I absolutely have to, I make sure she is only inside the building compound, with strict instructions to the maid and the guard that they aren’t supposed to go out – I also keep looking down from the balcony to see what they are doing
- I accompany my daughter to the building garden and don’t leave her alone for long
- My daughter isn’t yet allowed to get inside the lift on her own. In case she is playing downstairs or is at some friend’s place, I make it a point that either me or hubby go and get her back with us
- I send her to school in the bus, making sure either me or hubby help her get in, and one of us is always there to get her down from the bus – I don’t allow the conductors to hold her to get in and get down from the bus
- For all her activity classes, I’m always around. If I can’t sit in the class, I wait outside
- While my daughter takes her lessons in swimming, I make sure I’m sitting there and always keeping a watch on the instructor
- Even if neighbours call my daughter over, I don’t let her go, unless they are people we have known for ages and their kids too come over to our place often
- No sleepovers for my daughter yet
- I only let her visit her friends’ place when the mothers are at home
- I have explained the basics of good touch and bad touch to her
- To make it easier for her and cause less confusion, I have told her that only papa or mamma can help her take a bath and change. It’s another matter that since she is extremely comfortable with her maternal grandmother, that’s the only exception
There are too many rules around you would think, but let me assure you, that my 5-year-old girl doesn’t feel stressed with these at all. In fact, even if I forget some of the above, she always makes it a point to point it out to me and make sure it’s all being followed.
Debolina Raja Gupta loves being a mommy and best friend to her 5-year old princess. A working mom, voracious reader, social activist, photographer, poet, travel freak, beauty writer and an everything-of-sorts. Best fun is story time and our fashionista time together. My blogs: The Book Worm, A Few Thoughts Here And There, My Little One And Me, Beauty Makeup And More.